This week’s Feminist Fridays post is another installment of the How Do You Deal series. Because there are certain issues in life and in feminism that are tough to talk about on our own, the HDYD series allows many voices the opportunity to share in these discussions, making it easier for us to talk about our beliefs, opinions, and feelings. Each month I ask contributors how they deal with an issue and we each share our thoughts on the matter. This month we are talking about insecurities. Here are my feelings on this topic:
Whenever I’m faced with an insecurity, I try to pause and question why I am feeling the way I am. It usually turns out that what my insecurity is telling me is happening is not actually the case. When this happens, I step back and recalibrate with more healthy thoughts. I don’t always get it right the first time, but I have built habits that help me handle insecurities much better than when I was younger.
Now let’s hear what my contributors had to say about insecurities and feel free to share your thoughts on the matter in the comments.
To be honest, in past times I’ve gone to extremes when it comes to insecurities. I’ve hurt myself mentally and physically because of how frustrated I became with my looks or something I didn’t do well. I’m trying to live much more positively now, but those shadows still try to creep in. For me, dealing with insecurities is a daily battle I wage with myself; sometimes I win and other times the insecurities win.
I feel most insecure when I’m at school. I’m an older student now, and I feel conspicuous on campus surrounded by people who are, for the most part, a few years younger than me. The first thing I do is really think about how I feel, asking myself questions like: “Is this based in fact?” and “Is there any real need to feel insecure?” I find that asking these questions calms me and helps me focus on the truth of insecurity. We all feel it, but more often than not it’s such an unnecessary evil.
I love Valentine’s Day because it’s a celebration of love, and who doesn’t love that? But now that I’m 25 and still have never had a boyfriend it’s making me feel insecure. It’s not really anything anyone has said, but in a small way it makes me feel like a failure, like I can’t do this simple thing that everyone else can do: find a partner. I know there’s no rush on love, but I see how couples are and I want that romance too. One day…
Insecurities are rough and they have the habit of sneaking up on you at the worst possible times. The way I try to deal with them is to counter them with something positive. For example: I haven’t been asked on a date in months? Yea, that stinks, but during that time I got to focus on writing a book, and spending lots of money on pink cocktails with my best friend. So, not all that bad ;)
The best (and sometimes the hardest) way I’ve learnt to deal with insecurities is to continue to be kind and forgiving to others. Whilst insecurity drives thoughts of jealousy and wanting to bring others down to make yourself feel better, it is so counterproductive in the long run; making yourself reliant on bringing others down to feel more secure about yourself. Complimenting and admiring others will only help you stay in a more positive mindset to be kinder to yourself whilst also encouraging you to work on the things you can actually change about yourself to become a better and confident version of you.
I try to remember that mistakes are a part of being human, and if we learn from our mistakes, we have not failed. If I’m insecure about something, it’s probably not really about the thing I think it is (thanks, therapy!), so it helps to really step outside of my emotions and get into my head. Why do I think I’m not good enough? Why do I think people will find out? What is this about, really?
I believe it takes time and continuous effort to be able to manage your insecurities. Compared to a few years ago, I know I handle mine so much better, even though I do still have tons of them, just like most people. Whenever I feel insecure, I try to remember that people don’t care or don’t notice whatever it is I’m insecure about; it’s all in my head. I also find speaking about my worries with someone I love and trust really helps me to get some perspective.
I’m usually a pretty confident lady, but insecurities always come up for me when I choose to make myself vulnerable. I challenge myself to find the power in vulnerability by doing new things and pushing myself into new situations and relationships. That is extremely fucking hard to do, and the flip side of that power is that it can be depleting and temporarily damaging to your self-image. That’s why folks who preach vulnerability almost inevitably preach self-care. Spending time and energy on loving yourself and building yourself back up (in whatever way is meaningful for you) is the best way I know of to trash insecurities and feel confident and whole.
I’m sure that there isn’t a single person who doesn’t battle with their own insecurities, on a regular basis. In teaching myself how to combat my inner critic I’ve learned to look at my self-doubt from a new perspective; feeling uncomfortable is a sign that I’m operating outside of my comfort zone and inevitably growing. One of my greatest fears is allowing myself to get too comfortable and complacent, and feeling insecure means that I’m moving away from what I’m used to. A great book that has helped me with this is Danielle LaPorte’s ‘Desire Map’, where she helps readers to identify their core desired feelings (mine are Ease, Affluence, and Fiercely Feminine) and strive to feel this way every single day. Whenever I start to feel insecure, I’m able to stop and ask myself “how do I want to feel”, and “what will it take for me to experience those feelings”?
Dealing with insecurities – I think the most important thing to remember about having insecurities is that it might just be the most universal experience in the world. Everyone feels unsure about something, and I don’t just mean body insecurities. I have insecurities about my position at work, my blogging abilities, where I see myself in the future, all sorts of aspects of life. I really try to recognize my insecurities and create goals around improving upon them, which keeps me from hiding them away and puts a more positive spin on something that has the potential to bring me down.
So now YOU tell us: How do you deal with insecurities? Do you relate to anyone above?